Tuesday, 18 March 2008
I've just heard on the radio the shocking news that Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient, has died suddenly aged 54. I only interviewed him once, for The English Patient, but he was a fixture on the British filmmaking scene, most recently as head of the BFI, and had a reputation for being a wonderful bloke to work with. I didn't always like his films, in fact I seemed to prefer the ones other didn't — namely The Talented Mr Ripley and Mr Wondeful — rather than his multi Oscar-winning The English Patient, but one felt he would be making films for years and years to come. He most recently directed the pilot for the TV series No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, based on Alexander McCall Smith’s novel, which is due to premiere on British television on March 23. His death is further proof, if any is needed, of quite how fragile and unpredictable life is.